Lady Scotties Take Fourth at Divisionals
November 11, 2020
The Lady Scotties repeated history last week by being crowned back-to-back District 2B champions and the team had hoped history would repeat itself again at Divisionals. Last year the team achieved second place at Divisionals, securing a spot at State for the first time in nine years. This year, amidst tough competition and a rather unusual overall season, the Lady Scotties faced off against teams they hadn't seen since earlier in the season and also had the opportunity to have a re-match against their opponent that secured their District championship.
The Scotties traveled to Conrad to get ready for their first match of the tournament against host Conrad Cowgirls the morning of Nov. 5. This season the Scotties hadn't matched up against the Cowgirls, however that lack of knowledge with the other team didn't deter the win. The Scotties dominated in three, 25-12, 25-18, 25-11. The team achieved seven aces, with Abrianna Nielson, Daley Aune and Rachelle Glaser each achieving two. Nielson led in kills with 12, while Abby Engstrom and Klaire Krumweide both contributed to the team's 36 kills. Glaser dominated in assists, achieving 20 of the team's 22. Tyann Graham led the team in blocks with three while Engstrom achieved two. The team also achieved 46 digs, with Blaire Westby as the leader achieving 11, Graham achieved 10 and Nielson achieved seven.
The win allowed the team to play again later in the evening on Nov. 5 against Fairfield. The Scotties played Fairfield early on during the regular season where the two teams battled it out in five sets. At that time, the Scotties ultimately took the loss so they were looking for revenge. Unfortunately, Fairfield wanted to keep up their winning for a shot at being crowned Divisional champs, and they moved on with the win, 25-15, 25-19, 25-17.
"Our Fairfield match that evening was different. It's a strange feeling with volleyball when it happens but sitting on the sidelines that evening, everything just felt off. The girls were tight and made a lot of errors that hurt us. We missed way too many serves and we just couldn't get into any sort of an offense. It was hard to watch because nothing we tried to do was working and everything seemed to work on the opposite side. Net rolls and balls that normally would fall for us just didn't," reflected coach Somer Hoerster. "Afterwards, I know the girls were very frustrated with their performance. Thank goodness we had another shot being that this was a double elimination tournament. We had a team meeting that night and knew we had made things harder for ourselves, but the girls still wanted to compete."
The loss brought the Scotties into loser-out territory, which might have seemed like history repeating itself as the Scotties were in the same position last year before securing their ticket to State. Their opponent this time around, Wolf Point, whom the Scotties beat in Districts in order to secure the Championship, wanted revenge. Ultimately, the Scotties took the win at the Nov. 6 match in four, 23-25, 25-19, 25-13, 25-22. The team achieved 11 aces, with Nielson achieving three and Riley Noser and Graham each achieving two. The team also recorded 37 kills, of which Nielson achieved 15, Noser achieved 11 and Graham achieved six. Glaser, as she has been known to do all season, dominated in assists achieving 29 while Graham achieved two for a team total of 31. Glaser also recorded one block, while the team achieved 61 digs, with Westby leading the team with 21.
The win took Wolf Point out of the tournament and brought the Scotties one step closer to the Championship round. Their next match on Nov. 7 saw the Scotties pitted against Shelby, whom the Scotties had also seen earlier in the season. While the Scotties were able to secure the win in set one and set four, Shelby ultimately took the win in five, 23-25, 27-25, 25-22, 24-26, 15-10. The loss allowed the ability for Shelby to move on to secure third place while the Scotties clinched fourth place in the tournament. The Scotties achieved 12 aces while Glaser led with five, and Daley Aune, Graham and Nielsen each achieved two. Nielsen dominated in kills, achieving 19 of the team's 44, while other contributors were Noser and Carly Nelson with six each. Glaser once again dominated in assists, achieving 31 of the team's 36, followed by Graham who achieved three. Engstrom led the team in blocks with four of the team's eight while Glaser also contributed two. The team recorded 83 digs, led by Glaser with 18, followed by Aune with 15 and Westby with 11.
"We started out pretty well with Shelby but then got into a situation in game one where we got behind by a pretty big margin. The girls never stopped fighting and I was so proud of them pulling out that first game win after being down by so many points. Then the rest of the match it was short bursts of each side getting control. Both sides obviously wanted it and we each fought hard. In the end, we just ran out of time and lost to a good team," said Hoerster. Upon reflecting on the match, Hoersted stated she is proud of how the girls handled themselves and battled to five games.
On Nov. 8 it was announced senior Glaser and junior Nielsen were named to the first team District 2B All-Conference team while juniors Engstrom and Graham in addition to senior Glaser were named to the second team District 2B All-Conference team. Glaser and Nielsen were also named All-State.
"We are very proud of all of the things this team accomplished in this crazy year of COVID. They were a class act across the whole season and our seniors will be greatly missed!," stated Hoerster.